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Full text of "Vivisection, is it justifiable?"

VIVISECTION 

IS IT JUSTIFIABLE? 



CHAS. BELL TAYLOR, F.B.C.S. and M.D. Edin. 



Price, Thbeejpence. 




2 pp., Brno., price \d., 5d. per doz., 3s. 6d. per 100, 

DE. CHAS. BELL TAYLOE ON VIVISECTION. 

Speech at a Meeting of the Victoria Street Society, at 
Nottingham, in reply to a Lecture by Dr. T. H. Pye Smith. 

2 pp., 8vo., price id., 5d. per doz., 3s. 6d. per 100, 

DE. CHAS. BELL TAYLOE ON PASTEUE'S 

PEOPHYLACTIC. (Letter to The Spectator, June 29, 1889.) 
12 pp., 8vo., price 2d., Is. 8d. per doz., 12s. per 100, 

"PASTEUE'S PEOPHYLACTIC," by Chas, Bell 
Taylor, F.E.C.S. and M.D. Edin. 

From The National. Review, July, 1890. 
1 page leaflet, price id., 5d. per doz., 3s. per 100, 

"THE FEUITS OF VIVISECTION," by Chas. Bell 
Taylor, F.E.C.S. and M.D. Edin. 



LONDON: SOCIETY FOR THE PROTECTION OF ANIMALS FROM VIVISECTION, 
20, VICTORIA STREET, S.W., AND ALL BOOKSELLERS. 



VIVISECTION : IS IT JUSTIFIABLE ? 



CHARLES BELL TAYLOR, F.R.C.S. and M.D., Edin., 

FELLOW OF THE MEDICAL SOCIETY OF LONDON J 
LATE PRESIDENT OF THE PARISIAN MEDICAL SOCIETY. 

An Address delivered before the Medioo-Chirargieal Society of Nottingham, 
November 16th, 1892. 



Me. President and Gentlemen, 

I have long thought that any advance we may hope to 
make in the direction of civilization, any step towards the 
amelioration of the evils of existing conditions, must be mainly 
by way of the recognition of rights, — not only the rights of men 
and women who may be less fortunately placed than ourselves, 
but also the rights of those poor relations of ours whom we call 
animals, and to whom we owe so much of our enjoyment of life, 
so much of our well-being, so much of our prosperity, and but 
for whose cheerful and willing aid the business of tbe world could 
not be carried on. I must insist that it is our duty to treat 
these humble fellow-creatures of ours with the utmost kindness, 
care, and consideration, and that such duty is no less sacred 
than that which binds us in any of our social relations. It is 
true that the exigencies of our nature compel us to kill animals 
for food, and also in self-defence; but we are bound to make such 
death as swift and painless as possible, and nothing — absolutely 
nothing, to my mind — can justify deliberate, prolonged, and 
cold-blooded torture of any of them.* I need not dwell upon this 

* " The right to kill and the right to torture are essentially different, and 
the assertion that one right covers and includes the other, is simply childish. 
The whole agitation against vivisection rests on the position that between 
death, a quick and easy death, and the infliction of pain so severe and pro- 
longed as to be fairly called torture, there is a great gulf fixed, and that the 
right to inflict the one by no means carries with it the right to inflict the 
other. The existence of this gulf is admitted by the common sense of man- 
kind, and is shown, for instance, by the discontinuance ox legal torture as 
compared with the persistence of capital punishment. Vivisectors have never 
ventured to meet their opponents fairly and squarely on this ground, — to lay 
down that the infliction of pain amounting to torture is unjustifiable, and to 
assert that they do not in fact inflict it They do not do this because they 
know very well that to make such an assertion, and to base their cause upon 
it, would be to deliver themselves into the hands of the enemy." — Arnold. 



point : the principle is admitted on all sides ; it is embodied in 
our laws against cruelty to animals, and the sentiment finds a 
ready response in all hearts which are not dead to the instincts 
of common humanity. Nevertheless we are told, and especially 
of late, that we must forego this claim of our animal friends 
to exemption from torture, in the interests or supposed interests 
of certain gentlemen, who assure us that they are in the 
pursuit of science ; that the pain they inflict is trifling to a 
degree ; that anaesthetics are for the most part employed, and 
that they have made discoveries which have benefited the human 
race. It therefore behoves us to ascertain how far these state- 
ments are worthy of credence, and to what extent, if at all, they 
may lead us to condone acts and deeds which we should certainly, 
a priori, condemn as atrocious to the last degree. 

Well, here is a specimen of what is meant by the pursuit 
of science from a vivisector's point of view. It is called a moral 
experiment. " I inspired," says the late Dr. Brachet, Professor of 
Physiology at the Ecole de Medicine, of Paris, " a dog with the 
greatest aversion for me, by plaguing or inflicting some pain or 
other upon it as often as I saw it. When this feeling was carried 
to its height, so that the animal became furious as soon as it 
saw or heard me, I put out its eyes. I could then appear before 
it without its manifesting any aversion. I spoke, and imme- 
diately its barkings and furious movements proved the passion 
which animated it. I therefore destroyed the drum of its ears 
and disorganized the internal ear as much as I could, and when 
an intense inflammation which was excited had rendered it deaf, 
I filled up its ears with molten wax. It could no longer hear at 
all. Then I went to its side, spoke aloud, and even caressed it, 
without its falling into a rage : it seemed even sensible of my 
caresses." Dr. Brachet repeated the same experiment on another 
dog, and assures us that the result was always the same. 

Here is another, also called a moral experiment, which I quote 
from a speech by Dr. Shaw, delivered quite recently before the 
Koyal College of Surgeons of Ireland, " The operator began by 
treating the animal kindly and winning its love and confidence. 
When these were secured he cut off an ear of the dog, who 
looked astonished but manifested no resentment. Next day he 
cut off a paw, and a few days afterwards another. Thus he went 
on from one outrage to another, slashing and stabbing till the 
experiment was complete. It was astonishing how much the 
animal endured before his confidence was gone and his love 
turned to hate. After the second paw was removed he continued 



to gaze up into his master's face, and to lick the hand that 
maimed him." Here is another which belongs to the same 
category, and is recorded by Baron Weber, a distinguished 
scientist, who tells us that a German gentleman cut out the 
puppies from a pregnant bitch and laid them before the mother. 
He wished, he said, to ascertain whether she would exhibit 
affection for them such as is usually displayed when they are 
born in the natural way. "When Mr. Lawson Tait announced 
the fact that the peritoneum was capable of digesting the imma- 
ture foetus in cases of ectopic gestation, he tells us that certain 
German vivisectors put his assertions to the test by cutting out 
the immature puppies of pregnant bitches and stitching them in 
the cavity of the peritoneum. "I recall to mind," says Dr. Latour, 
who was present at the time a poor dog, the roots of whose 
vertebral nerves Majendie desired to lay bare to demonstrate 
Bell's theory which he claimed as his own, " the dog mutilated 
and bleeding twice escaped from under the implacable knife, and 
threw its front paws around Majendie's neck, licking, as if to 
soften its murderer and ask for mercy. I confess," says Dr. Latour, 
" I was unable to bear that heart-rending spectacle.""- 

A similar scene is recorded by a student who was present at 
an experiment in this country. The dog, alarmed at the awful 
preparations, sat up and begged for its life of each assistant in 
turn. The students, moved at this pathetic appeal, endeavoured 
to save the poor creature, and offered to buy it, or do anything 
in order that it might be set free, but in vain ; it was cruelly 
tortured, and reproduced at the next lecture for a repetition of the 
process, under which it died. " Repeated electrical stimulation," 
says the Editor of The Lancet (Sept. 17th, 1881), "appears to 
produce in rabbits a state of tetanus arresting respiration, which 
may be kept up artificially." In respect of dogs, the following 
account is given of those experimented on by M. Bichet. " In 
the dogs," he says, "the electricity employed was not suf- 
ficiently powerful to arrest respiration, and death was due to 
elevation of temperature. The ascent of the thermometer 
was extremely rapid, so that after the tetanus had lasted for 
half an hour, the lethal temperature of 111 or 112 degrees 
Fahrenheit was reached. The proof that the increased body 



* The same man, II. Majendie, lecturing to his class on one occasion 
•with a toy greyhound fawning on his knee, remarked, " Gentlemen, the skin 
is a sensitive organ." He then slashed his pet with a sharp bistoury the 
creature uttered a piercing cry. " That scream, gentlemen," said the eminent 
professor, "proves the truth of my assertion." 



G 

heat was the cause of death, was furnished by the Tact that 
if the animals were kept cool by artificial means they will bear 
for more than two hours extremely strong currents, which cause 
severe tetanus without dying for some days. The breathing is so 
frequent that it is hardly possible to count it, and so feeble that 
scarcely any air enters the thorax." These miserable animals 
were thus subjected for two hours at a time to currents of 
electricity which caused such intense agony of cramp and heat 
together, that they either expired with their blood fourteen degrees 
above the normal temperature, i. e., simmered as it were in their 
own vital fluid, or lingered for a day or two, having been kept 
cool by ice baths and other artificial means during their hideous 
torture. 

An eminent London physician, in the Appendix to the Keport 
of the Pioyal Commission, describes an experiment, of which 
the following is a brief summary. The subject, a dog, having 
been rendered motionless with curara, had its windpipe cut open, 
a nozzle inserted, and artificial respiration maintained by means 
of bellows ; its head was then partially flayed, its spinal marrow 
cut through, needles dug into the exposed marrow, and shocks 
given by a galvanic battery. The nerves which lead from the 
brain to the heart were then burnt away, and the spinal marrow 
further stimulated. The doctor says, this beautiful and simple 
experiment we owe to a German physician, with whom I had the 
pleasure of repeating it here very frequently last summer." 

In Pfliiger's Archives of Physiology is recorded several cases 
of operations on the brain. " A very clever, lively, young female 
dog, which had learnt to shake hands with both fore-paws, had 
the left side of the brain wasbed out through two holes on the 
1st of December, 1875 ; this caused paralysis of the right paw. 
On being asked for the left, the dog immediately laid it in my 
hand. I now demanded the right (says the Professor), but the 
creature only looks at me sorrowfully, for it cannot move it. On 
my continuing to press for it, the dog crosses the left paw over 
and offers it to me on the right side, as if to make amends for 
not being able to give the right." You would think that was 
enough torture to inflict upon one affectionate little creature ; 
but, no ; on the 13th of January more brain was sucked out with 
a pump. Even that was not enough; for on February 15th 
more was extracted, and on March 6th some more. You will 
wonder why it did not die ; well, it did, for the last operation 
killed it. Fifty-one dogs had their heads pierced in several places, 
and portions of the brain washed out by this process, which was 



repeated again and again ; the animals being kept in sore pain 
and trouble, as we can well imagine, as long as they survived, 
which was sometimes for weeks or months. Further details are 
given of what are called interesting experiments on a delicately 
formed little bitch, the left side of whose brain was extracted ; 
the hind feet were then clamped with sharp pincers, which caused 
doleful whining, piteous howling, and foaming at the mouth. 
The poor creature soon became blind, and shortly afterwards 
died. " The brain," says the Professor, " was found on dissection 
to resemble a newly hoed potato field." Another dog who had 
had five holes bored in its head, and nearly half the brain ex- 
tracted, lived from February 14th to March 15th. In several of 
these cases the animal became blind on one eye, and in order to 
correctly estimate the failure of sight in this blind, or fast 
becoming blind eye, the Professor took out the other eye. "On 
the 8th of November, 1875," he says, "two holes were bored in 
the head of a bull dog, and the brain washed away ; the animal 
became blind on the right side; I therefore, on December 11th, 
took out the left eyeball, so causing complete blindness." On 
the 10th of January, 1876, some more of this poor creature's 
brain was destroyed, and on the 5th of February some more ; 
this time on the opposite side. A few days later this one more 
unfortunate victim sank from exhaustion. Here is another 
strange experiment, also recorded in Pfliiger's Archives. The 
spinal cord of a strong grey poodle was cut on the 27th of 
February, and again on the 18th of March, 1875. The second 
cutting caused fearful ravages ; the bladder becoming paralyzed, 
and the rectum protruded. As it appeared that it could not 
live long, preparations were made to perform upon it further 
experiments ; but the dog died before the preparations were 
completed. 

Here is another strange experiment, recorded by the operator 
himself in the Revue Nationale, who tells us that he fastened 
several large dogs on a table and beat them with a heavy wooden 
mallet, striking the animals thirty-two times on one side, and 
again thirty-two times on the other, after which he dislocated 
both shoulders and fastened the limbs behind the animals' backs. 
He adds that he did this without ansesthetics, so that he might 
know how much pain was inflicted from the creatures' cries, and 
also because, he adds, we know the generous nature of the dog, 
who will at night lick the hand that in the morning had been 
employed in striking him with a heavy wooden n? allet. 

At page 204, of the Report of the Eoyal Commission on 



8 

Vivisection, you will find an experiment on an animal under 
curara (the most cruel of all poisons, and which, although it 
paralyzes motion, only heightens sensation), is recorded. The 
subject was a small docile dog, which, a few minutes after the 
drug was injected under the skin, staggered on its fore paws, 
walking on the tips of its toes until it fell over, frothing at the 
mouth and weeping abundantly. Its windpipe was then slit open 
and the nozzle of a bellows connected with a gas engine used for 
artificial respiration inseited. The side of the neck, the side of 
the face, the side of the foreleg, and interior of the belly were 
then dissected out, and the sciatic and other nerves exposed and 
irritated with galvanic shocks. No anresthetic was used, and the 
agony the poor creature endured must have been awful ; yet it 
was continued for ten hours, at the end of which time the 
operators left for their homes ; but they did not release the 
subject of the experiment, or end its sufferings by death. It was 
purposely left helpless and mutilated as it was, in order that 
they might resume their investigations next day without prelimi- 
nary delay. When the next day came the poor dog was dead ; 
the machine was at work (as it is, I am told, in these laboratories 
often night and day), but it was pumping air into and out of a 
dead body. 

Here is a pathetic scene, recorded by Dr. John Clarke at the 
Church Congress. A surgeon operated on a dog, cutting out a 
part of the bowels and stitching the ends together. The opera- 
tion was done under anaesthetics ; but operations on the abdominal 
cavity entail at best much suffering, even when the patient 
receives the most assiduous nursing ; but what about the nursing 
of a vivisected animal ? it is left fastened to a board, generally 
the board on which it has been dissected. The second night after 
the operation in the case in question the animal lay there groaning 
and crying in pain. Its cries attracted another dog in the 
laboratory which was waiting the same fate. This one broke 
loose from its tether, and went to help its wounded companion. 
It first gnawed through the cords that bound it, and then thinking 
apparently that the dressings were the cause of the pain, the dogs 
tore them off. They then ran round the laboratory together 
through the night, until the wounded one dropped from ex- 
haustion, and was found in a dying condition from peritonitis at 
ten o'clock the next morning. 

It may be alleged that these are exceptional experiments, not 
likely to be repeated, but I cannot admit that such is the case. 
The last experiment was the one it was proposed to repeat upon 



a vast number of dogs at our University Buildings ; and it is not 
many weeks since a French surgeon poured boiliug lead into 
a dog's ear, regardless of the frantic screams and struggles of the 
poor creature who tore its limbs in vaiu efforts to escape. I said 
this kind of thing is going on every day, and it must be so when 
you have your laboratory aud your licence and your stables and 
your cages and your dogs and cats and rabbits aud horses and 
assistants and torture troughs and gas engines for artificial respira- 
tion, and onkometers and onkographs and the various instruments 
supplied by the Scientific Instrument Company, which I am assured 
does a large trade. The vivisecting professor must do something 
to justify his existence and deserve his pay in that capacity, and 
here is a description of what he does, which I quote from the pen 
of an eye witness and participator, who repented his share in the 
proceedings, as I make bold to think most must do when advancing 
years forces them to calm reflection, and, as in many instances, 
to bitter retrospection." "I venture to record," says Dr. Hoggan, 
" a little of my own experience in this matter, part of which was 
gained as an assistant in the laboratory of one of the greatest 
living experimental physiologists. In that laboratory we sacrificed 
daily from one to three dogs, besides rabbits and other animals, 
and after much experience I am of opinion that not one of those 
experiments on animals was justified or necessary. The idea of 
the good of humanity was simply out of the cmestion and would 
have been laughed at, the great aim being to keep up with, or get 
ahead of, one's contemporaries in science, even at the price of an 



* When Dr. John Reid met his friend Fergusson (afterwards Sir William) 
in the street, he burst into tears and exclaimed, " This is a judgment on me 
for my cruelties to animals." He was a fine, handsome, powerful man, in 
the prime of life, and the grave suddenly yawned at his feet. He was doomed 
to die, and shortly, of cancer of the tongue, an organ in the region of which 
his vivisections had been mainly directed. — Professor Syme, probably the 
greatest operator of this century, the Napoleon of surgery, lived to denounce 
vivisection as cruel and useless. — Pirogoff, the great Russian surgeon, 
tells us how his dying dog, in midst of his sufferings and at the point 
of death, fixed his plaintive eyes upon his master, and made an effort to give a 
last sign of recognition to one who tells us how he suffered when he remembered 
the tortures he had inflicted upon hundreds of other dogs. He says, ' ' My heart 
was full." — Professor Haller records a precisely similar experience ; so does 
Dr. Crisp ; and so does Sir Charles Bell, who greatly regretted one or two 
experiments he was compelled to perform in order to illustrate his dicovery 
made from anatomy only of the spinal nerves. He says, " It is but a poor 
manner of acquiring fame, to multiply experiments on brutes and take the 
chance of discovery ; we ought, at least, to get at truth without cruelty, and 
to form a judgment without having recourse to torture." 



10 

incalculable amount of torture, needlessly and iniquitously inflicted 
on the poor animals. During three campaigns," he adds, "amidst 
the horrors of war, I have witnessed many harsh sights, but I 
think the saddest sight I have ever witnessed was when the dogs 
were brought up from the cellar to the laboratory for sacrifice. 
Instead of appearing pleased with the change from darkness to 
light they seemed seized with horror as soon as they smelt the 
air of the place, divining apparently their approaching fate. 
They would make friendly advances to each of the three or four 
persons present, and as far as eyes, ears, and tail could make a 
mute appeal for mercy eloquent, they tried it in vain. Were the 
feelings of experimental physiologists not blunted, they could not 
long continue the practice of vivisection. They are always ready 
to repudiate any implied want of tender feeling, but I must say 
they seldom show much pity ; on the contrary, in practice they 
frequently show the reverse. Hundreds of times I have seen 
when an animal writhed with pain, and thereby deranged the 
tissues during a delicate dissection, instead of being sootbed it 
would receive a slap and an angry order to be quiet and behave 
itself. At other times, when an animal had endured great pain 
for hours without struggling or giving more than an occasional 
low whine, instead of letting the poor mangled wretch loose to 
crawl painfully about the place in reserve for another day's 
torture, it would receive pity so far that it would be said to have 
behaved well enough to merit death ; and, as a reward, would be 
killed at once by breaking up the medulla with a needle. One of 
the most revolting features of the laboratory was the custom of 
giving an animal on which the Professor had completed his 
experiment, and which had still some life left, to the assistants, 
to practise the finding of arteries, nerves, &c, in the living 
animal, or for performing what are called fundamental experi- 
ments upon it ; in other words, repeating those which are 
recommended in the laboratory handbooks. "* 

* Baron Weber describes a visit which he paid to a large physiological 
laboratory when the students and professors were away on vacation. He 
says he was led into the cellars, where iron boxes are kept for securing the 
dogs till wanted ; they were capable of holding - fifty dogs. He asked the 
conductor where they came from. "Oh, from the dealers and so on," with 
a grin. The Baron advises those who are fond of animals not to let their 
dogs go unguarded in the streets. One intelligent looking dog, with evident 
forebodings, had gnawed a considerable hole in one of the oaken doors of his 
cage, in the hope of escape. The Baron's guide said it would not help the 
blackguard, for if he got loose he could not get out of the place. The long 
tables were smeared with blood. He also describes the torture troughs, and 



11 

"I have known," says Dr. Allix, the well-known French 
veterinary surgeon, "dogs die of sheer terror in anticipation of 
their doom before the vivisector had time to commence his 
operations." 

" The experiments lately performed on female dogs will con- 
tinue to haunt and distress me to the last day of my life," says 
Dr. De Noe Walker, late army surgeon, who gave evidence before 
the Royal Commission. " As soon as the poor mother had given 
birth to a litter of puppies, the vivisector visited her on her bed 
of straw, whereupon, moved by the finest feelings of her nature, 
she looked up into his face, her dilated pupils beaming with joy and 
expectant sympathy. Up he lifts her and presently excises all 
her mammary glands. The next day she is again visited by her 
tormentor, but on seeing him her terror is indescribable. The 
poor puppies were of course starved to death." 

"It is marvellous and astonishing," says Professor Goltz, " to 
find that a dog that had served for some seven experiments and 
whose hind quarters were completely paralyzed, and whose 
spinal marrow had been destroyed, the animal suffering besides 
from fatal peritonitis, was still capable of maternal feelings for 
its young. She unceasingly licked the living and the dead puppy, 
and treated the living puppy with the same tenderness as an 
uninjured dog might do." 

remarks that the last dog who died in this way had been honored with a 
memento mori, for on one of the ends of the box a student had drawn in chalk 
the head of a pretty little dog with angel's wings attached to his shoulders, 
and the legend written underneath, " Requiescat in pace.'" On asking if the 
animals were rendered insensible before being experimented on, the Baron 
was told that they were all poisoned with curara. " My guide now led me 
into a another very small, cold room, in which were two large freezing boxes. 
One, a large, round tub, my guide said, was ' for freezing* a live dog till he 
became quite stiff.' " A cold shudder creeps over one when one thinks of the 
poor terrified and whining animals, after being- kept for weeks in these 
gloomy cellars, being thrown at last into a tub to be frozen stiff. Dogs frozen 
in this way at intervals, live to the sixth day. — See Report of the Imperial 
Rudolph Institution for 1869, p. 112. 

Dr. Leffingwell records the following exhibition, recently made before an 
American audience. ' ' It was affirmed on one occasion by a Professor of 
Physiology before his class, that the fur of animals prevents radiation of 
animal heat and is thus a protection against cold, and that an animal deprived 
of fur, or with that fur rendered useless by varnishing, would suffer if ex- 
posed to extreme cold." No one out of a lunatic asylum could doubt this ; yet 
three animals were brought in, — one shaved, one varnished, one untouched ; 
the three were then packed in ice. No anaesthetic was given ; their piteous 
moaning gradually grew fainter, and at last ceased altogether. They were 
then unpacked : one was dead, the two others, frozen stiff, were resuscitated 
for other experiments, i.e., euetheb tobtuee, on anothee day. 



12 

" I will take," says Mr. E. T. Eeid, in his speech iu the House 
of Commons, " a series of experiments performed by Professor 
Eutherford of the University of Edinburgh, and reported iu The 
British Medical Journal. These experiments were thirty-one in 
number ; no doubt there were hundreds of dogs sacrificed upon 
other series of experiments, but now I am only referring to one 
set. There were in this set thirty-one experiments, but no doubt 
many more than thirty- one dogs were sacrificed. All were per- 
formed on dogs, and the nature of them was this. The dogs 
were starved for many hours, they were then fastened down, the 
abdomen was cut open, the bile duct was dissected out and cut ; 
a glass tube was tied into the bile duct and brought outside the 
body. The duct leading to the gall bladder was then closed by 
a clamp, and various drugs were injected into the intestines at 
its upper part. The result of these experiments was simply 
nothing at all — I mean it led to no increase of knowledge what- 
ever, and no one can be astonished at that ; because these 
wretched beasts were placed in such circumstances — their con- 
dition was so abnormal — that the ordinary and universally 
recognized effect of well-known drugs was not produced. These 
experiments were performed without anaesthetics." 

Sir W. Fergusson, in his evidence before the Eoyal Commission, 
gives an instance of a dog who was crucified for several days, and 
brought into the class from time to time to show how the experi- 
ment was going on. Evidence was also given that dogs and 
rabbits had the nerves that govern the muscles of the throat 
divided, so that they could not swallow the food that was placed 
before them ; they kept on continually munching, but all the 
same they died of hunger. Dr. Crisp, in his evidence before the 
same Commission (Q. 6,157), alludes to the well-known cases of 
vivisection that were practised at the veterinary schools of Alfort, 
Lyons, and Toulouse. Sixty-four operations were performed 
upon the same living horse ; eight students would be engaged on 
the same animal at the same time ; five or six horses were used 
up in this way in a week ; and no anaesthetics were employed. 
The operations commenced at six o'clock in the morning, and 
ended at six at night. The eyes were cut out, the teeth punched 
out, the hoofs torn off, the body fired, and every conceivable 
operation upon nerves, arteries, veins, bladder, and skull, was 
performed upon the groaning, writhing beast ; and it was con- 
sidered highly creditable to the young students if they could keep 
the animal alive until the last, i. e., until six at night. 

Here is a report from an eye-witness, Dr. Murdoch, of what 



18 

actually occurred upon one occasion. "A little chestnut mare, 
worn out in the service of man, had unfortunately survived the 
numerous tortures of the day and no longer resembled any creature 
of this earth. Her thighs were cut open, the skin torn away, 
ploughed through with hot irons, harrowed with dozens of setons, 
the sinews cut through, the hoofs torn off, and the eyes pierced. 
In this blind and powerless condition the miserable creature was 
placed, amid laughter, upon its bleeding feet, to shew those 
present who were operating upon seven other horses, what human 
skill could perform before death released their victim." 

It seems incredible, but it is a fact that Abdul, the celebrated 
beauty, the horse that bore the late Emperor of Austria at his 
coronation, was, at the close of his career, worn out and feeble, 
subjected to this hellish process. 

Dr. Carpenter mentions in his work on Physiology, a professor 
who inserted a tube into a dog's stomacli and then filled it with 
boiling water. A number of cases are also reported where dogs 
were covered with turpentine and then set fire to (burnt alive). 
Others, where full-grown sheep dogs have been immersed up to 
the neck in boiling water, and kept as long as they would live 
afterwards ; others, where they were kept for weeks without food ; 
others, where quite a number of dogs were skinned alive. The 
Professor fully describes the process, complains of the difficulty 
he experienced in flaying the paws and head, and tells us that he 
kept them in cotton wool so long as they would live after the 
operation. Others, where dogs and cats were subjected to 
atmospheric pressure until they became as stiff as boards, and 
their brains ran like cream ; others, where the kidneys were cut 
out and the animals kept alive as long as possible ; others, where 
the bladder was ligatured to prevent the discharge of urine, the 
gullet tied to prevent sickness after emetics or poisons had been 
administered, and others where the natural vents had been per- 
manently clamped ; others, where animals were baked alive or 
trephined and their brains sucked out with a force pump or burnt 
out with hot wires ; others, where dogs were suffocated and 
brought to life again and again, and kept alive for weeks and 
months for a repetition of the process. Similar experiments on 
apes, monkeys, cats, rabbits ; in short, on every creature that 
has life and can feel, are recorded ; while other unfortunate 
animals were submitted to an unintermitting torture of every 
conceivable description (without injuring vital parts) for weeks, 
merely to ascertain how much actual pain it took to kill them. 
And so on, horror upon horror's head accumulating, until one is 



14 

sick with grief, indignation, and disgust at the whole business. 
I think I have said and quoted enough to show that the 
science of which the vivisector is in pursuit, is not true science, 
and that the pain inflicted by him on his innocent victims is 
not slight, but atrocious to the last degree. Let us now see 
what is meant by the assertion that anaesthetics are employed. 
Dr. Hoggan says that anaesthetics have proved the greatest curse 
to vivisectible animals, and I entirely agree with him. The 
public would not tolerate vivisection for a day if they did not 
believe that the animals were rendered insensible, and the plain 
fact is that they are not rendered insensible ; more than half the 
licences dispense with anaesthetics. It is the public who are 
anassthetised, — it must be so ; for in many experiments, to render 
the animal insensible would be to defeat the object of the operator, 
such as those, for instance, connected with the reflex action 
from the sensory nerves ; those connected with the glandular 
secretions, as in Hughes', Bennett's, and Rutherford's experi- 
ments on the liver ; again, those on digestion, and those on 
the temperature of the heart and arteries, and those in which 
it is necessary to use a gas engine for artificial respiration ; 
those on the phenomena of pain; the boiling, baking and 
stewing alive experiments ; drowning, starving to death, alco- 
holisation, and feeding on substances which are incapable of 
sustaining life. It is the same when the effects of drugs and 
poisons have to be tested ; and also in a numerous class of 
experiments which require time — days, weeks, or months — for 
their completion. The animal, if it goes to sleep, goes to sleep in 
health, in ease, to awake in torment that can only end with its 
most wretched life. And again, when an operation is performed 
and the animal is kept alive, often in great agony, in order that the 
results may be observed, as in numberless operations and in all 
pathological experiments. Besides it is most difficult to render an 
animal insensible and at the same time keep it alive. Vomiting 
frequently interrupts the process, during which the animal comes 
round, and my experience with chloroform on dogs is that as soon 
as they are insensible they cease to breathe, and this experience is 
borne out by that of Professor Pritchard of the Royal Veterinary 
College, a gentleman who has had more experience in this direc- 
tion than any man living, who says, in effect, that as soon as the 
animal is insensible you find that it is dead. " They appear for 
some time not to be under the influence of it at all, and then 
suddenly they come under the influence of it, and we find it 
impossible to bring them round." The practical consequence of 



15 

this is, as Dr. Hoggan has remarked, " that complete and con- 
scientious anaesthesia is seldom even attempted, the animal 
getting at most a slight whiff of chloroform, hy way of satisfying 
the conscience of the operator or of enabling him to make state- 
ments of a humane character." Dr. Walker's evidence before 
the Koyal Commission was to the same effect. He said, " It is 
quite true that anaesthetics are used, but if by that you understand 
that while the animal lived and was experimented on he was 
throughout insensible, it is the greatest delusion that ever was." 
Physiologists are well aware of these facts, hence you find it 
stated that they occasionally use ether ; but it is very difficult, 
owing to the conformation of face and the necessity for tying the 
mouth up, to give ether to dogs, the animals principally operated 
on ; you require to smother them, and if the anaesthetic is inter- 
mitted for a moment they come round ; and we consequently find 
it stated that the ether has been supplemented by morphia 
injected under the skin, which, although it stupefies, does not 
prevent the animal from feeling. " II sent la douleur," as Bernard 
says. Or, worst of all, curara — "the hellish wourali," as Lord 
Tennyson very properly calls it, — a drug which makes it im- 
possible for you to give chloroform safely, or to say whether the 
animal is insensible or not, since all the muscles of expression 
are paralyzed, and which, while it paralyzes motion, actually 
increases the animal's susceptibility to pain — pain described by 
Claude Bernard himself, as " the most atrocious the mind of 
man can conceive." 

So much for anaesthetics and the slight amount of pain 
inflicted by vivisectors. Now let us see what benefits the human 
race, our noble selves, have derived from these diabolical torments 
inflicted upon our innocent and helpless fellow-creatures. Dr. 
Hoggan says the idea of benefit to the human race would be 
laughed to scorn by the vivisector, the sole object being to get 
ahead of one's contemporaries in science. I do not say that any 
benefits would justify us in inflicting these torments ; they would 
no more justify us than an increased price would justify the man 
who skinned cats alive in order to preserve the gloss of their coats. 
But I want to know what they are and where they are. I confess 
I do not know, although I have tried hard to find out. 

" My soul 
Assures me humanity is wisdom, 
And they who want it, wise as they may seem, 
And confident in then - own sight and strength, 
Reach not the scope they aim at." 



16 

If you ask those who support vivisection what this Joanna South- 
cote of science has brought forth, they either talk unmitigated non- 
sense or favour you with vague, unmeaning generalities which are 
little less absurd. Here is a specimen of the latter which I cull 
from a recent letter by an able practitioner, apologising for the 
system: "Have any of your correspondents," this gentleman 
says, "thought seriously of the law of prey and the struggle for 
life which is going on everlastingly in the world around us ? 
Tennyson's 'Nature red in tooth and claw' depicts in not too vivid 
colouring the scene of the cosmos. Do we not see how all through 
the realm of animal life destruction and suffering are the means 
by which advancement is made from a lower to a higher and 
more complex organization ; how the principle of sacrifice seems 
to run like a shining thread through the web of the universe, 
interwoven into its very order. When we stand on the place 
where innumerable multitudes of living sentient things fall a prey 
to the conditions of development which are set up by the Maker, 
surely we shall not be unwilling to yield to a few earnest seekers 
after truth the means of gaining that knowledge which is to 
lessen so considerably that sum of suffering which is one of the 
heaviest curses of the world." The writer continues: "Our 
sympathies for the mangled victims of the sportsman's pleasure 
are shadowed by the lurid picture which Miss Cobbe's impressionist 
brush makes for us ; and yet the horrors of the laboratory are a 
mere fiasco in extent to the dreadfulness of the deeds which are 
done in the fields for our own good and pleasure. In the light of 
the latest results of brain surgery; of protective inoculations; 
of the discoveries of Virchow, Pasteur, Lister and Ferrier, one is 
bound to admit the needfulness of experiments if scientific medi- 
cine is to advance." 

And so on ; but what does it all mean ? "We are not savages 
contending against a hostile tribe who would torture us ; we are 
not engaged in a struggle for life with wild beasts who would 
tear us limb from limb ; even if we were, torture would not be 
justifiable. But just conceive the shame of it, — the pity of it. 
The animal we principally sacrifice is our best friend, — Byron 
said he never knew but one, and that was his dog Boatswain ; — 
our faithful companion who loves, honours and obeys us ; who 
has given his life for us a thousand times ; who is eager at any 
moment to imperil life and limb in our service ; who has even 
been known to die of grief on his master's grave, and to starve 
to death in the open rather than cease to guard his dead body. 
Let me beg of you, if only for the honour of our noble profession, 



17 

to think of the sin involved — of the cruelty involved — of the 
treason, of the cowardice, of the utter pitilessness involved — as 
Miss Cobbe has remarked, in tying down this faithful friend on a 
torture trough, and slowly mangling its brain, its eyes, its entrails, 
until after hours — it may be days or weeks — of tbe most exquisite 
torture, he perishes in a degree of agony of which we can form no 
conception. Surely, if there is a future— surely, if man is respon- 
sible — surely, if it is the merciful that shall obtain mercy, — it is not 
kind of us to allow our misguided friends to go on with this bloody 
work, or to bow down to tbose eminent men in our own profession 
who would conduct our youth into the same path which, if there 
be any truth in religion, can but lead to destruction. 

Ye therefore who love mercy, teach your sous 

To love it too. The springtime of our years 

Is soon dishonoured and defiled in most 

By budding ills, that ask a prudent hand 

To check them. But alas ! none sooner shoots 

If unrestrained, into luxuriant growth 

Than cruelty, most devilish of them all. 

Mercy to him that shows it is the rule 

And righteous limitation of its act 

By which heaven moves in pardoning- guilty man ; 

Aud he that shows none, being ripe in years, 

And conscious of the outrage he commits, 

Shall seek it and not find it, in his turn. 
Compare, I say, the horrible tortures which I have described 
aud thousands of others of a similar character which are going on 
day and night in the licensed laboratories of this country and 
abroad, with the shot of the sportsman or tbe sudden death in 
hot encounter, which is the fate of so many of the lower animals, 
and tell me if it is not simply absurd to declare that " the horrors 
of the laboratory are a mere fiasco in extent to tbe dreadfulness 
of the deeds of the sportsman," or those of nature herself. Besides, 
if the cruelties of sport are to be deprecated, how much more 
must all right-minded persons condemn deliberate, cold-blooded 
and prolonged torture, no matter for what selfish purpose it may 
be perpetrated ? As to the discoveries by vivisection that have 
benefited the human race, it has been proved over and over again 
that Pasteur's inoculations, both in antbrax and hydrophobia, 
have done infinite harm and not the slightest good ; Lister's 
antiseptic system was worked out, as everyone knows, in tbe 
hospital, at the bed side, and, to the best of my belief, quite 
independently of experiments on animals — in fact, they would 
have been quite out of place ; and as to Ferrier's cruel mangling 
of dogs' and monkeys' brains, why, such operations have taught 



18 

us nothing but what equally good and better authorities have, 
and I believe with justice, declared to be both false and misleading. 
How then is it, you will very naturally enquire, tbat the 
British Medical Association should pass a resolution declaring 
" that experiments on living animals are of inestimable benefit to 
man and animals, and that the continuance and extension of such 
investigations is essential to tbe progress of knowledge, the relief of 
suffering, and the saving of life ? " How, indeed ! Well, the passing 
of such a resolution, which in my opinion is a libel on the British 
Medical Association, is accounted for, first, by the fact, to winch 
Mr. Jonathan Hutchinson, the proposer, alluded, tbat probably 
not one in one hundred of those present had ever performed any 
experiments on animals at all ; and I will add, since they were 
educated and refined gentlemen, that they also probably had 
not the remotest idea of what they were doing ; secondly, by the 
fact that, owing to the sbortness of the notice, equivalent to no 
notice at all, the resolution was sprung upon the meeting, and 
there was consequently no discussion and no opportunity of 
opposition ; and third, that those who were present and who 
were opposed to vivisection did not like to appear singular, and 
as one of them remarked to me, "be the only ones to stand out." 
Let us see now what arguments were adduced in favor of this 
ridiculous proposition. Mr. Hutchinson said, first, that the mem- 
bers of the Association ought to pass the resolution because those 
persons who practised vivisection were exposed to a certain 
amount of odium and ought to be protected. Second, that experi- 
ments on animals were not cruel, because nothing deserved the 
definition of cruelty which had for its object the alleviation of 
suffering. Third, that Sir "William Gull had said that "there was 
no cruelty comparable to ignorance ; " and fourtb, that those who 
were opposed to vivisection were like certain whelk shells turned 
the wrong way. Dr. Kansom, the seconder, merely added that 
the right to vivisect was a matter of privilege or liberty, and that 
"the price of liberty was eternal vigilance," — in fact it was 
" whelks and liberty over again." But what did it all 
amount to ? Persons who practise such cruelties as I have 
described must be expected to be exposed to odium ; and it is 
certainly not the business, even if it were in the power, of the 
British Medical Association to protect them. Moreover, cruelty 
is cruelty with whatever object it may be perpetrated ; and it is 
an insult to common sense to pretend that the man who flays dogs 
alive by the score is not cruel simply because he says he is trying 
to find out something about the functions of the skin. Sir 



19 

William Gull's pompous remark really meant nothing at all; 
and the eccentric persons who are compared to sea shells turned 
the wrong way are, as Sir John Stuart Mill has remarked, 
really the excellent of the earth ; they are the men and women 
who accomplish all good and useful ends, not hy going with the 
stream like dead fish, hut by buffeting the tide. 

No, Sir, no good ever came of vivisection ever since the world 
began ; and in my humble opinion no good ever can. Never 
mind what physiologists say; as Ouida has remarked, the arro- 
gance, the conceit, the sophisms of the so-called scientists of to-day 
are as like the arrogance, the conceit, and the sophisms of the 
Bidas and Torquemadas of old, " as the Physiological Laboratory 
is like the Torture Chamber of the Inquisition." We have got rid 
of one, and we shall get rid of the other. Meantime, never let it 
be said that we as a Profession were on the side of wrong, of 
cruelty, of injustice and oppression. The main task of civilization 
has ever been the vindication of the rights of the weak. Animals 
have rights (so much is conceded by our laws), and men have 
duties towards them ; and for us to ignore the one, or counsel 
neglect of the other, is simply to proclaim ourselves enemies of 
the human race and foes to its destined progress. 



The following are the Author's replies to the arguments brought 

forward in favour of Vivisection, during debate at the close of his 

paper : — 

" Nihil utile qttod non sit honestum." 

The Circulation of the Blood. 

It is true that Harvey was a vivisector, but it is not true that 
he discovered the circulation of the blood by means of vivi- 
section ; on the contrary, so long as he confined his attention 
to vivisection he was continually wading through blood, agony, 
and torture only to arrive at doubt, uncertainty, and contradic- 
tion. Here are his own words : " When I first gave my mind to 
vivisection as a means of discovering the motions and uses of the 
heart, and sought to discover these from actual inspection and not 
from the writings of others, I found the task so truly arduous, 
so full of difficulties, that I was almost tempted to think with 
Frascatorius that the motion of the heart was only to be comprehended 
by God, my mind was therefore greatly unsettled, nor did I know what 
I should myself conclude, nor what believe from others." He adds 
" I was led to distrust the existing belief of the course of the blood 

by CONSIDERING THE ARRANGEMENT OF THE VALVES OF THE VEINS 

(which of course could only be studied on the dead body). It was 
plain that the common doctrine that the blood moved to and fro 



20 

in the veins outwards from the heart and back again was incom- 
patible with the fact of the direction of the valves which are so 
placed that the blood could only move in one direction." Now, 
as Dr. Bridges, the Harveian orator for this year (1892), has 
pointed out, " Servetus and Colombo had demonstrated before 
Harvey that the blood passed from the right ventricle through 
the lungs to the left side of the heart; and Cesalpino had shewn 
that in consequence of the arrangement of the mitral and aortic 
valves, the flow of blood must necessarily be from the left ventricle 
towards the various organs of the body." 

This could not be demonstrated on the living body, as Dr. George 
Macilwain, Fellow of the Eoyal College of Surgeons, remarked 
in his evidence before the Eoyal Commission (Blue Book, p. 96), 
"You could not discover the circulation in a living body; I do 
not see how it is possible to do so ; if you had a dead body then 
it is so easy to discover the circulation of the blood, that it is 
difficult to understand how it was not done before (Harvey's 
time), because if you inject the arteries you find that the fluid is 
returned by the veins." That is the simple truth ; whereas, if 
you attack a living animal, you are at once blinded by the blood 
which gushes forth at the first incision, and can make nothing 
out. "Harvey himself," says Dr. Lauder Brunton in his 
Gulstonian Lectures (British Medical, Journal, March 17, 1877), 
"was led to form his ideas regarding the course taken by the 
blood from the position of the valves of the reins, and might possibly 
have been able to discover it exactly without making a single 
experiment." Similar evidence before the same Commission 
was given by Dr. Acland, Regius Professor of Medicine at the 
University of Oxford ; and " The more Harvey's immortal work 
is studied," says Dr. Bridges, " the more palpable is the fallacy 
that his discovery resulted from any such process of direct 
inspection as vivisection is supposed to give. (Comparison of 
structures — direct observation of structures — these supplied Harvey 
with his materials, and profound meditation did the rest." 

The Cuke (so-called) of Hydrophobia. 

It is true that Pasteur discovered, if we can call it a discovery, 
his so-called cure for hydrophobia by vivisection ; but it 
is not true that his so-called cure is any cure at all. On 
the contrary, it is pretty clearly established by now, that 
Professor Michel Peter's observation, made years ago, is strictly 
correct : " M. Pasteur ne guerit pas la rage, il la donne," — " he 
does not cure hydrophobia, he gives it." Here are the latest 
figures in proof thereof, which I quote from an excellent address 
on the subject, delivered at the recent Church Congress by 
Dr. F. S. Arnold, M.B. and B. Ch. Oxon :— " The report of the 
French Conseil Superior de l'Hygiene shows that from 1S50 to 
1885, the average annual mortality from hydrophobia in France 
was 23 ; from 1885 to 1890 inclusive, after Pasteur started his 
inoculations, there was a yearly average of 39 deaths in the same 



21 

country, and under precisely similar conditions." " In England 
the deaths from hydrophobia from 1880 to 1884 inclusive, were 
153, while those from 1885 to 1889 — years during which many 
persons bitten by dogs were sent from this country to Pasteur — 
were 159, giving a full addition of one to the yearly average." 
In addition to these conclusive facts, showing the utter failure 
of Pasteur's inoculations to diminish the number of deaths from 
hydrophobia, we have the fact that close upon 240 persons have 
died after having submitted to his treatment, and many of these 
clearly in consequence of it. 

The Preventive Treatment (so-called) of Anthrax. 

It is true that Pasteur discovered his so-called preventive treat- 
ment of anthrax by experiments on animals, but it is not true 
that his inoculations have been of any service, or anything, when 
faithfully carried out, but a source of clanger and disaster wherever 
they have been adopted. Indeed so clearly has this been demon- 
strated, that his system has been emphatically condemned by the 
German and English Commissioners appointed to enquire into 
it, and actually prohibited (as it ought to be in this country) by 
the Hungarian Commission, and for the following reasons : — 
1 — Because the spores of anthrax are so indestructible that, once 
started, it is almost impossible to get rid of them ; they will 
survive immersion in solutions of the most powerful chemicals, 
such as corrosive sublimate and carbolic acid, and will even 
resist the action of boiling water (unless the ebullition is con- 
tinued for upwards of five minutes — see report of experiments in 
Bacteriological laboratory, Berlin, quoted in Medical Press) ; and 
because they will also live in pastures for years, through all 
weathers, and prove as fatal both to man and beast at last as at 
first. 2 — Because when the spores and bacilli of this microbe 
are injected into the cellular tissue of a healthy animal, its blood, 
its nasal and buccal mucous discharges, its excrement, and 
secretions are speedily swarming with bacilli, and it is at once 
scattering the seeds of this malignant and loathsome disease 
wherever it goes. 8-— Because it is simply absurd to suppose 
that any protection can be gained in this way, because one attack 
of anthrax, malignant pustule, and splenic fever, as it is also 
called, — unlike scarlet fever, measles, and such like diseases, — 
confers no immunity against another attack. 4 — Because even 
the advocates of the system do not claim protection beyond a 
short period (a few months), and insist that the operation must 
be constantly repeated. 5 — Because ten per cent, of the animals, 
even under favourable circumstances, die, and those who recover 
do so with their health permanently damaged. 6 — Because the 
flesh, the milk, the butter, and cheese of such inoculated animals 
are contaminated and unfit for food. 7 — Because the operation 
has proved fatal to a vast number of animals. M. Paul Bouillier, 
for instance, says that inoculation for anthrax has had but one 
result — that of causing the death of ten times more animals in 



22 

France than are lost annually in the natural manner. Among 
hundreds of examples, he cites three. M. Grandchamps, he says, 
lost 5,000 francs worth of horses and cows from inoculation. 
M. Fournier inoculated 400 sheep, of which 90 died ; the mayor 
of St. Germain and M. Marcel le Bran lost between them as 
many sheep as have died in thirty Communes where no inocula- 
tion goes on, and 45 times more than were lost by five other 
farmers who own sheep in the same district where no inoculation 
is practised. It is by millions, he says, that we must count the 
losses in France from anthrax inoculation. It is said that the 
system has since been perfected ; but M. Lutaud, in a recent 
communication, tells me that French farmers have had such 
disastrous experience, that they now refuse to allow their animals 
to be inoculated ; and it is not long since the brothers Pankaljeff, 
Kussian millionaires, allowed Dr. Bardach to inoculate their 
stock, as a result of which proceeding in two days 3,552 sheep 
died, 1,200 horned cattle likewise perished, and also hundreds of 
horses. — (Journal de Medicine, Paris, 1889). Professor Peter 
tells us that at about the same time inoculation was practised 
upon 4,564 sheep at Kachowa in Southern Bussia, of which 3,696 
died — (Provincial Medical Journal, May, 1890); and from a 
report in The Standard for July 9th this year (1892), I find that 
in New South Wales, where M. Pasteur's representatives inocu- 
lated a flock of 12,524 sheep, 3,174 died. 8 — Because, when 
these things do not happen, it is simply because the vaccine used 
has been sterilized down to the innocuity of rain water, and can 
neither protect or injure ; on which point Dr. Klein, in his 
Supplement to the Twelfth Annual Beport of the Local Govern- 
ment Board (p. 208) remarks: — "Is a cultivation in which in 
course of time the bacillus anthracis, at first forming a copious 
growth, degenerates and in which no spores had been formed, 
and further which cultivation loses, as we know, its power to 
infect with virulent anthrax animals when inoculated, — that is 
to say, such a cultivation as M. Pasteur's vaccine professes to 
be, — is such a cultivation, I say, perfectly ineffective too, in 
giving the animals some sort of immunity against further 
inoculation with natural material ? The answer is, " Yes ; it is 
perfectly ineffective." And finally, as an eloquent writer has 
observed, "Accepting vaccination, however, as a preventive from 
one disease (small pox), how will it be when we and our cattle 
employ twenty similar preventives for twenty other diseases ? 
Is it really to be believed that the order of things has been so 
perversely constituted as that the health of men and beasts is to 
be sought, not, as we fondly believed, by pure and sober living 
and cleanliness, but by the pollution of the very fountains of life 
with the confluent streams of a dozen filthy diseases ? " 

Mr. Fleming indites a psalm of triumph over the prospect of a 
boundless field of inoculations just opening to the activity of 
medical men and veterinary surgeons, who will go forth like so 
many sowers tc scratch the people and cattle instead of the 



23 

ground, and drop cultivated virus by way of seed, or possibly 
tares, as the case may prove. Are we then, our oxen, our sheep, 
our pigs, our fowls, — (that is to say, our bodies and the food 
which nourishes them) — all to be vaccinated, porcinated, equi- 
nated, caninised, felinised, and bovinated, once, twice, twenty 
times in our lives, or every year ? Are we to be converted into 
so many living nests for the comfortable incubation of disease 
germs ? Is our meat to be saturated with " virus," our milk 
drawn from inoculated cows, our eggs laid by diseased hens, — in 
short, are we to breakfast, dine, and sup upon disease by way of 
securing the perfection of health ? " God forbid ! 

The Localisation of Brain Disease. 

It is true that Professor Ferrier has performed numerous 
vivisectional operations upon the brains of apes and other 
animals, and has in consequence arrived at certain conclusions 
with regard to the functions of certain definite portions of the 
cerebrum ; but it is not true that these experiments have resulted 
in benefit to the human race, or that the conclusions are trust- 
worthy, or that he has given us any guide on which we can 
depend in operating upon the brain. On the contrary, cases of 
brain tumour that are at once accessible and capable of being 
localised are so extremely rare, that the benefit to the human 
race of such brain surgery must in any case be very small. 
Again, those physiologists who have repeated Ferrier's experi- 
ments deny his conclusions, and it is a fact that the only positive 
knowledge we have as to the functions of the brain has been 
derived from careful observation of human patients during life, 
and careful post mortem examinations of those who have suc- 
cumbed after death. Let us examine these points a little in 
detail. Patients suffering from brain tumour are not very 
numerous ; nevertheless the Morbid Growths Committee of the 
Pathological Society have collected and tabulated fifty-four cases ; 
of these only two, even under the most favourable circumstances, 
(i.e., with a certain knowledge of the locale of the tumour) seemed 
on post mortem, examination to have been suitable for operation ; 
and Dr. Goodhart, physician to Guy's hospital, who is a great 
pathologist, says that in thirteen years of post mortem work he 
did not remember seeing a single case in which the tumour was 
at once accessible and capable of being localised. — (Pathological 
Society's Transactions, quoted in The Medical Press, Jan. 26th, 
1887). He very naturally adds, " That in the region of cerebral 
tumours other than inflammatory, it therefore seems very doubtful 
if surgery has any future worth mentioning before it." Speaking 
on the same point, the Editor of The Medical Press remarks, 
" That if such cases (prospecting for brain tumours) proved fatal, 
the jury must give a verdict against the surgeon who operated ; " 
and the Editor of The Lancet (November, 1883) says that, "If 
Dr. Ferrier's suggestions meet with much practical response, it 
is to be feared that cerebral localisation will soon have more 



24 

deaths to answer for than lives to boast of." It is clear, there- 
fore, that in cases other than inflammatory or resulting from 
direct injury, where the history of the case, the heat, the pain on 
pressure, and other local symptoms would guide us, that there is 
not very much to be done in the way of brain surgery, and that 
we cannot possibly have derived the benefit which is claimed as 
a result of Ferrier's experiments on monkeys. 

Speaking on this point Sir W. Bowman says, " Vivisections 
upon so complex an organ as the brain are ill calculated to lead 
to useful or satisfactory results ; " and Ferrier himself, in the 
preface to his Treatise on the Functions of the Brain, says, " No 
one who has attentively studied the results of the labours of the 
numerous investigators in this field of research can help being 
struck by the want of harmony, and even positive contradictions, 
among the conclusions which apparently the same experiments 
and the same facts have led to in different hands." "Indeed 
experiments on the lower animals, even on apes, often lead to 
conclusions seriously at variance with well established facts 

OF CLINICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL OBSERVATION." 

Again, Ludimar Hermann, Professor of Physiology in the 
University of Zurich, says, " Physiological experiments conducted 
in these regions (of the brain) are most indefinite. The usual 
plan of investigation, viz., that of applying stimuli to the brain 
substance, leads either to negative results, or, if electrical stimu- 
lation is used, to results which, owing to the unavoidable dispersal 
of the currents in numerous directions, are not sufficiently localised 
to form the basis for trustworthy conclusions." And Dr. Kingsford 
(M.D., Paris) says, "The conditions under which experimenters 
are compelled to work render their results liable to great miscon- 
ception and error. Thus, in order to reach special tracts and 
areas of the brain, they are forced to push their instruments, 
whether heated or otherwise, through the superficial membranes 
and tissues of the hemispheres of the brain lying beneath the 
skull, and by these acts of laceration or denudation many com- 
plications are set up which often seriously interfere with the 
conclusions sought, making it difficult to determine what pro- 
portion of the results obtained may be due to secondary and 
unavoidable injuries." On the same point Dr. Charcot, in his 
work on the Topography of the Brain, after citing cases, has 
also said, "These examples are enough to show that, particularly 
as regards brain functions, the utmost reserve is necessary in 
drawing inferences from animals to man; " and Professor Goltz, 
some of whose experiments on the brains of dogs I have quoted, 
says, "It is not often that physiologists agree on matters relating 
to the physiology of the brain." 

Charcot and Pitres in France, — Hitzig, Munk, and Hermann 
in Germany, — Luciani and Tambourini in Italy, — and Doctors 
Sch'afer and Goodhart in England — all differ from Ferrier in the 
conclusions drawn from his vivisectional experiments ; and Pro- 
fessor Munk, in his book " Functionein der Grosshirnrinde," 



25 

besides rejecting the conclusions of Flourens, Fritsch, Hitzig, 
Caville, Douet, Nothnagel, iSchiff, Hermann, and Goltz, speaks 
of Perrier's certainty in his own results as being only equalled 
by the impossibility of tbe slightest faith being placed in any of 
these results by any one who examines his researches ; and 
Ludwig, whose laboratory at Leipzic is the largest in tbe world, 
compares these experiments to injuries to a watch by means of 
a pistol shot ;* while the Editor of The Lancet (Nov. 10th, 1883), 
commenting on these facts, remarks: "Experiments led Flourens 
and all the chief physiologists of the day to the conclusion that no 
function was specially performed in any one geographical region 
of the cortex (of the brain), but that every part subserved the 
functions of which any was capable, and these experiments 
were made with as much care and as much skill as those 
which have led Fritsch, Hitzig, Ferrier and others to conclusions 
diametrically opposite. Moreover, in the full light of these later 
researches, one of the most distinguished physiologists of the 
present day has come to conclusions not far removed from those of 
Flourens, and the author of the most popular text book of 
physiology now hesitates between the two opinions." 

It is thus evident that experimenters are hopelessly at variance 
with each other, and that we can draw no safe conclusions from 
what they have done. Are we, then, to repeat their experiments? 
God forbid ! that would only render confusion worse confounded. 
No ; if we wish to get at the truth in this matter, we must 
simply carefully observe the symptoms of patients suffering from 
disease of the brain during life, and compare these symptoms 
with the lesions detected in the cerebral substance after death ; 
that is the only sure and safe guide to the truth, and it is to it 
that we owe all that we know for certain now of the localisation 
of the functions of the brain. 

Speaking on this point, Charcot says : " The only really 
decisive data touching the cerebral pathology of man are, in 
my opinion, those developed according to the principles of the 
Anatomico Clinical Method. That method consists in ever con- 
fronting the functional disorders observed during life in man, 
with the lesions discovered and carefully located after death. 
To this method, I may justly say, we owe whatever definite 

KNOWLEDGE WE HAVE OF BRAIN PATHOLOGY." He adds, " As for 

the localisation of certain cerebral functions, this method is not 
only the best, but the only one that can be employed." Again, 
Dr. Laborde, Professor of Practical Physiology, Paris, says : 
" The first victory of science over the impenetrable mysteries of 
the nerve functions — that most brilliant victory, the discovery of 
the exact seat of aphasia — was the result of bed side experience, 
which alone could accomplish it." He adds, " The study of this 
organ, the brain, if it is to bear fruit, must be made on man." 
Ferrier himself adds, the decisive settlement of such points 

* See Hermann's " Human Physiology," translated by Gamgee. 



26 

must depend mainly on careful clinical and pathological research. 
" Experiments have led to different results in different hands." 

Dr. Mac E wen, of Glasgow, located and operated on cases of 
brain disease with extraordinary success, guided only by observa- 
tion at the bed side and post mortem examinations, before Ferrier's 
experiments were heard of; and Ludimar Hermann, Professor of 
Physiology in the Zurich University, after experimenting on 
dogs, says, " The best method of investigation which is possible 
is the observation of cases of disease in the human subject in 
which the exact nature of the lesions is accurately ascertained 
after death." Again, Professor Charcot points out in his "Lecons 
sur les Localisations dans les Maladies Cerebrales," that " The 
utmost that can be learned from experiments on the brains of 
animals is the topography of the animal brain, and that it must 
still remain for the science of human anatomy and clinical 
investigation to enlighten us in regard to the far more complex 
and highly differentiated nervous organization of our own species ; 
and, in fact, it is from the department of clinical and post mortem 
study that so far all our best data for brain localisation have 
been secured." Again, " Painstaking and thoughtful observers 
of cerebral diseases in man were actively and fruitfully at work 
in this direction more than ten years before the experimenters 
had sacrificed a single animal to the quest, and it has been 
repeatedly pointed out by those who are best qualified to judge, 
that nature continually presents us with ready-made experiments 
of the most delicate and suggestive kind, impossible for mechanical 
artifice to realise, on account of the conditions under which 
artifice must necessarily work." — (See Ivingsford in Science, a 
monthly journal, for Feb. 7th, 1884.) 

The Antiseptic Treatment of Wounds. 

It is true that Sir Joseph Lister (in his evidence before the 
Royal Commission) stated that he had made experiments on 
animals in connection with his antiseptic system ; but it is not 
true that such experiments have resulted in benefit to the human 
race, or that the antiseptic treatment of wounds is in any way 
due to such experiments. On the contrary, as Mr. Lawson Tait 
has pointed out, Sir Joseph's experiments with carbolised catgut 
as a ligature for arteries, while answering admirably in the horse 
and calf, failed miserably when tried on human beings, and 
" has cost many lives ; " while the treatment of patients with 
antiseptic dressings was carried out in the wards of the Infirmaries 
of Edinburgh, Glasgow, and London, upon patients suffering 
from all kinds of wounds, bruises, and putrefying sores. Such 
investigations were, without doubt, perfectly legitimate ; were 
on right lines ; and to them is due, and not to vivisection, all 
that we know of the antiseptic system. As to Hunter's treat- 
ment of aneurism, this was adopted, as Sir James Paget has 
pointed out (see Hunterian Oration, 1877), " Not as the result 



27 

of any laborious physiological induction (experiments on ani» 
mals) ; it was mainly derived from facts very cautiously observed 
in the wards and dead-house." 

Von Graefe assured me himself that he was led to adopt his 
treatment for glaucoma by noticing that eyes on which he had 
operated for artificial pupil, became softer in consequence of that 
operation. He said nothing whatever about experiments on 
animals, and I do not believe that he made any until he had 
tested and proved his operations on the patients in his Augen 
Clinique. Those detailed in the Times are so manifestly super- 
fluous, clumsy, and apt to mislead, that I need not say anything 
more with regard to them. 

Galvani's discovery of electricity was due to experiments on 
dead frogs — " dalle morte rane " — not on living animals ; vivi- 
section had nothing whatever to do with it. The anaesthetic 
properties of ether and chloroform were discovered by experiments 
upon human patients, not by vivisection of animals. Koch's 
inoculations with tubercle, which were adopted from experiments 
upon animals, have led to death from initial fever, the infection 
of the whole system of patients who merely suffered from localised 
disease, and to failure and terrible disappointment of patients 
subjected to it. Vivisection was not needed for the discovery of 
the properties of nitrite of amyl, nor indeed, so far as I can make 
out, of anything else; and, after all, "It is not whether such 
and such a discovery was made by vivisection, but whether 
vivisection was indispensable to that discovery ? " If there are 
any such discoveries, either made or to be made, I must candidly 
confess I do not know of them ; in fact, if anything could exceed 
the hideous cruelty of the whole business, it would be the childish 
absurdity of the claims to benefit which are constantly put forth 
by the advocates and promoters of the system. 

Note on Anthrax. —The health and vital powers of the animals 
subjected to real inoculation are so depressed that they die in 
very large proportion from various other diseases from which 
non-inoculated animals are free. This statement is founded upon 
experiments which were carried out in Buda-Pest and Kapuvar, 
in the report of which, quoted by Surgeon-general Gordon, I find 
the following : — " We cannot overlook the fact that after pro- 
tective inoculation the deaths in which post mortem examinations 
indicated other diseases, such as pneumonia, pericarditis, catarrh, 
distoma strangulus, and other diseases, occurred exclusively 
amongst the inoculated animals, and from a practical point of 
view it is pretty much the same whether the loss be caused by 
anthrax or other diseases." Professors Koch and Klein and the 
Hungarian Commission have already unequivocally condemned 
the system, and Professor Peter, the well-known successor to 
Trosseau, declares that it is high time to raise a cry of alarm, 
and take steps to stop a practice which is indefensible in theory 
and disastrous in results. 



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